The Advent Prophecies at CGS
In Advent, we introduce the children to prophets. “A prophet is someone who listen deeply to God and then tells the people what He says,” I say. We talk about the prophets who lived long before Jesus’ birth who told the Jewish people about the messiah that God would send.
We learn about the prophet Isaiah who writes, “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, (Isaiah 9:1a)” and “they name Him Wonder Counselor, God Hero, Father Forever, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:5), and again, “the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).
We talk about Micah who prophesied that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the messiah (Micah 5:1). And we look at Numbers 24:17b which announces the star and scepter that symbolize the reign of the messiah.
As we ponder the prophets, I am reminded that we too are called to be prophets today—to listen to God deeply and then share messages or insights from God. Last week I experienced this in the Level 1 atrium. A 4-year-old child became a prophet to me.
I had been missing my dad greatly, asking God for a sign that he was with Jesus and that he was at peace. I was expecting a dream since I’d had those before, but God surprised me. In the atrium, I reminded the children to listen for God’s voice and then sent them off to choose their individual works. A half hour later, a little girl handed me a drawing of two squiggly figures holding hands. When I asked her what it was, she smiled and said, “that’s you and your daddy.” I was dumbfounded, so I repeated my question. “That’s you and your daddy,” she sang out and promptly ran away to work on something else.
God is alive. He speaks to the children and to us.
In the atrium, we help the children learn about their spiritual heritage, including the prophets of Israel, and we give them a space where they can listen for God’s voice. As they deepen their prayer life, the children grow their faith in astounding ways.
Bring It Home: The O Antiphons
The “O Antiphons” are prayed for 7 days in preparation for Christmas: December 17–23. These are the antiphons are used at Mass each day (before the Gospel reading). The antiphons are based on Isaiah’s prophecies and reveal the different titles given to the Messiah: O Sapientia (O Wisdom), O Adonai (O Lord), O Radix Jesse (O Root of Jesse), O Clavis David (O Key of David), O Oriens (O Dayspring), O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations) and O Emmanuel (O God with Us).
Each name reveals the longing of the Israelites and us as a Church as we await the Lord’s return. When we pray with the O Antiphons with your family during the last week of Advent, our hearts joining in the chant: “Come, Lord Jesus!”
Praying with the O Antiphons:
Family Activity Ideas for each of the O Antiphons
Sung Version of O Antiphons (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel) Video
Sung Version of O Antiphons (Traditional Chant) Video
O Antiphons Wreath Craft Activity
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